Is White Gold More Expensive Than Yellow Gold? Want to know the white gold vs yellow gold popularity? This post is for you guys.
Gold jewelry is well-known for its classic and timeless feel and flair. While the classic golden allure of gold jewelry lies in that natural shine, times have changed, and now we are looking at white and yellow gold jewelry.
Both white and gold jewelry are beautiful, they also have their subtle differences, but they don’t exist naturally.
But before we look at how white gold differs from yellow gold, let’s first look at the basics of gold.
For example, pure gold or 24K gold refers to the pure gold that’s mined from the earth. It is highly valuable and has been used as a financial exchange medium for the longest time. This pure gold is bright yellow in color, and it is very soft.
Because of its softness, gold is not, however, used to manufacture jewelry in its pure form. The only way that gold can be molded into jewelry, and all the other different shapes is by mixing it with other metals. The mixing process creates alloys which are not only stronger but also durable.
White and yellow gold are alloys of pure gold.
What is white gold?
White gold is not naturally occurring, but it is an alloy of the yellow gold. White gold results from mixing of pure gold with different metals like silver, copper, palladium, zinc, manganese, as well as nickel. As a result of this mixing, white gold will have subtle characteristics of all the metals in the mixture. So, you will find that white gold with nickel added to it is quite durable and hard. Also, white gold is coated with rhodium for that beautiful gleam that white gold is well known for.
When it comes to its purity, you can tell more about its purity or concentration of pure gold in white gold by looking at the number imprinted on the piece – it’s in karats.
While nickel enhances the strength and the durability of white gold jewelry, it’s important to mention that nickel makes white gold allergenic. So, if you are sensitive to nickel, you should avoid the white gold alloy made with nickel.
- The silvery-white color is becoming trendier, and this has driven its popularity
- It’s cheaper than platinum
- It’s more valuable and durable than silver
- Durable than yellow silver
- Rhodium-plating enhances its durability and strength
- Rhodium-plating makes it hypoallergenic
- Need for periodic re-plating and maintenance
- Slightly more expensive
What is yellow gold?
Yellow gold is a pure gold alloy that’s strengthened when combined with other metals such as zinc, silver, or copper. The color of yellow gold will vary depending on the amount of gold in the alloy. The content of gold also influences the value and the strength of the metal.
Like white gold, the purity of yellow gold will be determined by the amount of pure gold in the alloy. Therefore, yellow gold can be 10K, 14K, or 18K. The 18K yellow gold means that the alloy is made of 18 parts of pure gold and only 6 parts of the metal alloy.
- It’s hard to imitate yellow gold
- Diamonds or any other precious stones set on yellow gold stand out more beautifully
- It’s quite easy to work with or repair
- It has a classy, traditional feel
- It’s affordable
- Works with most skin tones
- It’s not very durable
- You lose at thin gold layer when you polish it
Determination of purity
The purity of white and yellow gold is measured in karats or K. The same measurement is used for yellow and white gold.
This measurement scale runs to 24 with the 24K representing the purest form of gold, and 9K gold being the lowest concentration of gold. 9K gold is 37.5% gold while 18K gold represents 75% gold. The remainder of these percentages is made up of the alloys that harden the pure gold.
Differences between Yellow and White Gold
Besides the differences in the ingredients that make up both white gold and yellow gold, white gold is stronger and more durable than yellow gold. Rhodium-plating of white gold makes it more resistant to scratching, and it also adds an extra layer of strength to the rhodium-plated white gold. Even if wear and tear result in the wearing off of the rhodium layer, the piece of white gold can be re-plated, protecting the gold base further.
Yellow gold, on the other hand, is softer, and it lacks a protective rhodium-plating layer which is why yellow gold will get scratches and scuffs easily. The absence of a protective layer also means that yellow gold will be polished off every time you try to remove the scratches. With time, yellow gold wears thin, but white gold doesn’t.
Is white gold more expensive than yellow gold?
You’d expect yellow gold to be automatically more valuable and expensive than white gold; because it looks more like gold. But this line of thought is flawed.
At the end of the day, the value of yellow or white gold will depend on the amount of pure gold that makes up the alloy.
If you have white and yellow gold pieces in hand, both 14K or 18K, they will have a similar value, and treated in the same way in terms of their liquidity.
Besides the karats, the other thing that influences the value of white gold and yellow gold is the hardness and durability. White gold is harder and more durable than yellow gold. So, if you have 18K white gold and 18K yellow gold, you might get slightly more for the 18K white gold than for the yellow gold. Rhodium plating increases the value of white gold by a small percentage.
Which is Better?
Overall, determining which is better between white and yellow gold is a matter of preferences. Yellow gold for a traditional feel, and white gold for a modern feel. However, if you are looking at things like durability and hardiness, then white gold is better than yellow gold.
Because of the yellow tone of yellow gold, most people opt for yellow gold even though it’s not as strong or durable as white gold. One of the reasons for this preference lies in the fact that the yellow tone works with most skin tones best, and it’s even regarded as a more traditional color for jewelry than white gold.
Also, a diamond set on yellow gold standout out more in yellow gold than in white gold.
On the other hand, white gold is preferable by individuals looking for the silvery-white finish of white gold. In such cases, white gold is chosen over other metals like platinum because white gold costs less than platinum. It is, however, stronger and much more durable than yellow gold.
So, if you are looking at white and yellow gold only in terms of their prices, you might make a mistake with the same karat white and yellow gold because they will have very slight prices. You need to look at their qualities too and your preferences.
As mentioned above, white gold might cost a little more than yellow gold because its demand is currently higher than that of yellow gold. Rhodium plating also increases its price.
Here is a post you might interest: can you melt down yellow gold into white gold?